The Vanishing American Adult
Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance
"Former college president and now U.S. Senator Ben Sasse reads with the clarity and confidence of a voice pro in this friendly warning aimed at America's parents, teachers, and governing officials." — AudioFile Magazine
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER — read by the author.
In an era of safe spaces, trigger warnings, and an unprecedented election, the country's youth are in crisis. Senator Ben Sasse warns the nation about the existential threat to America's future.
Raised by well-meaning but overprotective parents and coddled by well-meaning but misbegotten government programs, America's youth are ill-equipped to survive in our highly-competitive global economy.
Many of the coming-of-age rituals that have defined the American experience since the Founding: learning the value of working with your hands, leaving home to start a family, becoming economically self-reliant—are being delayed or skipped altogether. The statistics are daunting: 30% of college students drop out after the first year, and only 4 in 10 graduate. One in three 18-to-34 year-olds live with their parents.
From these disparate phenomena: Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who as president of a Midwestern college observed the trials of this generation up close, sees an existential threat to the American way of life.
In The Vanishing American Adult, Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can't grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body—and explains how parents can encourage them.
Our democracy depends on responsible, contributing adults to function properly—without them America falls prey to populist demagogues. A call to arms, The Vanishing American Adult will ignite a much-needed debate about the link between the way we're raising our children and the future of our country.
Praise For The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance…
"Former college president and now U.S. Senator Ben Sasse reads with the clarity and confidence of a voice pro in this friendly warning aimed at America's parents, teachers, and governing officials. Offering accessible examples and data to back his concerns, he says that too many of today's youth lack persistence and become "bizarrely fuzzy-headed when actual real-world problems need to be solved." Part of the problem is that they have few early experiences with hard work or overcoming obstacles. We don't expect enough of them. He also recommends that we let them travel and see the deprivation in other cultures and encourage them to nurture their bodies--to become better citizens by not taking their circumstances or health for granted. In a not-so-subtle jab, he says these experiences will also help our youth be less angry and, thus, less vulnerable to political demagogues." -AudioFile
"I know Ben Sasse as one of the most important emerging voices in our national dialogue -- plain-spoken, brilliant, and unafraid to speak his mind. Whether we agree or disagree, when he speaks -- I’m listening. And when he writes, I’m definitely reading."
Macmillan Audio, 9781427283092
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
About the Author
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan. The son of a football and wrestling coach, he attended public school in Fremont, Nebraska, and spent his summers working soybean and corn fields. He was recruited to wrestle at Harvard before attending Oxford, and later earned a Ph.D. in American history from Yale. Prior to the Senate, Sasse spent five years as president of Midland University back in his hometown. As perhaps the only commuting family in the U.S. Senate, Ben and his wife, Melissa, live in Nebraska but are homeschooling their three children as they commute weekly back and forth to Washington, DC.